Only 2.89 per cent of India's population pays tax! Struck by this revelation, Quicko, an online financial service started by Vishvajit Sonagara, kicked off a public service initiative, #RightToPayTax. With the support of Scarecrow Communications and Connect.1, the digital arm of Mukta Arts, it is aimed at motivating people to exercise their 'right' to pay tax.
Lending support to the cause are media and entertainment industry veterans KV Sridhar aka 'Pops' (chief creative officer, Sapient Nitro, India), Bharat Ranga (former chief content and creative officer, Zee Group and founder RanCorp), Mahesh Murthy, (founder, Pinstorm and founding partner, Seedfund), Rahul Puri (MD, Mukta Arts), Rajesh Kejriwal (founder and CEO, Kyoorius) and Ayaz Memon (noted columnist and sports commentator). The campaign will be rolled out on the digital platform and will subsequently be extended to select television channels and multiplexes.
According to Rahul Puri, MD- Mukta Arts, the idea of getting people to exercise their right to pay tax through a software is "radical and game changing." "We demand so many rights in terms of education, healthcare, roads, safety, etc, and it's only when we pay our taxes that we can get all of this for us and our families," he adds.
Talking about the association of Connect.1 with this initiative, he says, "It makes great sense for us. Connect.1 is in the business of reaching out to people via the internet and Quicko wants people to use their online platform to pay tax. When they narrated their vision, the idea immediately hit home."
Connect.1, which worked on the video execution, is a multi-channel network with YouTube and a digital studio devoted to making content for the internet generation.
Bhatt says that Scarecrow Communications has a special inclination towards social causes. Prior to this, the agency has worked on similar campaigns, popular among which are 'Respect the National Anthem' and 'Hostel Holi' (a Cannes winner) for Eye Bank Association of India.
He adds that the campaign is executed "quite well" and will definitely create more awareness, if not a mass movement.
Radhika Likhi, planning director at Cheil India thinks that the campaign makes an earnest appeal to citizens to exercise their right to pay tax for better infrastructure and facilities. However, she is not convinced with the execution and finds some of the videos too long.
Likhi is of the opinion that celebrities help to give "momentum" and "bigness" to a movement. "In the absence of that, the execution needs to give it scale, which I think this campaign does not have," she rues.